Rosberg wins maiden F1 title after tense finale

Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg wrapped up a maiden Formula 1 world championship after following title rival Lewis Hamilton home in a grandstand finish to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver produced a measured drive in a nervy season finale dominated by pole-sitter Hamilton.

While Hamilton claimed his 10th win of the season, Rosberg’s second place was enough to secure the world title by five points.

“That was definitely not the most enjoyable race I have ever had with the guys catching us in the final laps,” said Rosberg.

“I’m glad it is over and I’m unbelievably ecstatic.”

Following his father Keke Rosberg’s 1982 success, the Rosbergs join Graham and Damon Hill as the only father and son duo to win the world championship.

The final laps provided a tense finish for Rosberg as Hamilton backed his rival into the chasing Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, and a hard charging Sebastian Vettel.

Vettel made the most of super-soft tyres following a longer second stint which brought the Ferrari driver back into play.

The four-time world champion, who held fifth for the majority of the race, passed Verstappen and set his sights on Rosberg.

Mercedes asked Hamilton to up the pace but the Brit refused knowing a fourth world title was at stake if Rosberg finished off the podium.

Hamilton’s tactics proved to no avail as Rosberg held on to second ahead of Vettel, who claimed the final spot on the podium.

Verstappen finished fourth following an eventful race which began with a wild spin at Turn 1 that put him down the order.

However, a long opening stint saw him become a contender for the podium courtesy of a one-stop strategy.

Ricciardo drifted away in the closing stages as he came home in fifth ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, who held third in the first stint.

Nico Hulkenberg finished his last race for Force India in seventh ahead of team-mate Sergio Perez.

The result saw the Silverstone operation secure fourth in the Constructors’ standings ahead of Williams.

Felipe Massa scored two points in his final race of his F1 career in ninth while McLaren’s Fernando Alonso rounded out the top 10.

Meanwhile, Jenson Button bowed out of F1 on a disappointing note when his 305th race start ended after just 13 laps.

The Brit appeared to hit kerb which triggered a right front suspension failure on his McLaren that forced him to retire from the final race.

Button was joined on the list of retirements by Kevin Magnussen (Renault), Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso), Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) and Valtteri Bottas (Williams).

Result: Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Position Driver Team Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 55 Laps
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes +0.43s
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 0.84s
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1.68s
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 5.31s
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 18.81s
7 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 50.11s
8 Sergio Perez Force India 58.77s
9 Felipe Massa Williams 59.43s
10 Fernando Alonso McLaren 59.89s
11 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:16.77s
12 Esteban Gutierrez Haas 1:35.11s
13 Esteban Ocon Manor 1 lap
14 Pascal Wehrlein Manor 1 lap
15 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1 lap
16 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1 lap
17 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1 lap
DNF Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso
DNF Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso
DNF Jenson Button McLaren
DNF Valtteri Bottas Williams
DNF Kevin Magnussen Renault

Championship Standings

Position Driver Points
1 Nico Rosberg 385
2 Lewis Hamilton 380
3 Daniel Ricciardo 256
4 Sebastian Vettel 212
5 Max Verstappen 204
6 Kimi Raikkonen 186
7 Sergio Perez 101
8 Valtteri Bottas 85
9 Nico Hulkenberg 72
10 Fernando Alonso 54
11 Felipe Massa 53
12 Carlos Sainz 46
13 Romain Grosjean 29
14 Daniil Kvyat 25
15 Jenson Button 21
16 Kevin Magnussen 7
17 Felipe Nasr 2
18 Jolyon Palmer 1
19 Pascal Wehrlein 1
20 Stoffel Vandoorne 1
21 Esteban Gutierrez 0
22 Marcus Ericsson 0
23 Esteban Ocon 0
24 Rio Haryanto 0

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